ONCE again, some of our local women’s football teams were involved in several key games in a reduced West Riding County League programme over the last seven days.

It’s as you were in the Second Division promotion race, as none of the top four could put away a decisive goal.

Current leaders Athletico featured a fantastic free-kick from Ikra Ali to give them an early advantage over second-place Bradford City u21s, whose Crystal Boyce scored an equaliser, but Athletico’s ’keeper Claire Graham played well to keep City out for the rest of the game.

Knaresborough Town, who have games-in-hand, trailed 1–0 to fourth-place Rangers Athletic, after the experienced Gemma Howell scored on the half-hour mark, but levelled in the second half, as the points were shared in a pulsating game.

This Sunday’s two dual fixtures see the Bantams playing basement side Queensbury Celtic at Harrogate Road, and Knaresborough away to Burley Trojans at the rec.

Ilkley Town, who topped the First Division table by just the one point, were eager to open up the gap between themselves and second-place Farsley Celtic.

Ilkley’s game against a competitive, experienced Ackworth side was a test of their determination, resilience and character, and resulted in a hugely-important three points gained, to guarantee a promotion spot, with Millie Washington scoring a hat-trick in the 5–0 victory.

The Celts, who play Ackworth on Tuesday at Newlands, could still miss out on promotion as it’s still possible for Leeds Hyde Park, who are only one point behind with a game-in-hand, to take the other promotion place.

Silsden Juniors were away at League Champions-elect Leeds Modernians, who had topped the Premier Division table on goal-difference, and were looking to obtain a point to take the League championship outright.

Silsden put in a spirited display, with good play from Lillie Chattoe, but they ended the game with 10 players due to injuries. However it was Mods’ day, as they won 3–0 with goals from ex-Dragon Megan Robson-Owens, skipper Tanya Fozzard and Player-of-the-match Lauren Tate, to secure the title, with three games-in-hand, including Tuesday’s match with Thackley at Cookridge Lane.

Also on Sunday, Bradford (Park Avenue) play Silsden at Cemetery Road, and basement side Brighouse Sports are at home to Sherburn White Rose.

There are four to six teams all vying for the Third Division championship.

Field played a double-bill with fourth-place Pontefract Sports & Social.

The first game saw Field take a 4–0 victory, with goals from Megan Sparkes (2), Char Hill and Meg Schofield.

The second game proved to be the tougher of the two, with a lot of tired legs and the warmer weather making it difficult to concentrate.

After coming close earlier in the first half, Sparkes’ perseverance eventually paid off, with a spectacular overhead kick to make it 1-0 to Field, but soon after half time, Ponte found an equaliser. Field picked themselves up, and Sparkes scored her second. Unfortunately Ponte were awarded a penalty that they duly despatched to level at 2–2. Both teams had opportunities to take all three points late into time, but the four points gained takes them to top of the division, just one point above Skipton Town Development, who entertain Crofton Sports on Sunday.

Tyersal hosted Crofton in a double-bill.

Tyersal’s Amy Barnett, making her home début, got them off to a great start with a header. Crofton responded with two goals before some excellent play resulted in Barnett’s second. However the score was recorded as a 6–2 loss.

The second game also saw Tyersal starting strongly, with Hayley Robinson scoring in the first few minutes. A tough match, with some fine defensive work from Becca Ogden and Nikki Relton. Unfortunately some mistakes allowed Crofton to capitalise, and take a 3–1 win.

Tyersal have another double feature on Sunday, away to Forge Way Reserves, who have an outside chance of promotion. 


Farsley Junior Ladies Firsts, who currently prop up the Northeast Regional League, switched their mid-week game with Altofts to Lock Lane. A 5–0 loss confirms their relegation back to the West Riding County League for next season. 

Halifax FC were at home to FA National League Champions Newcastle United, as they played the first of three Northern Premier Division matches at Roxholme Road (Yorkshire Amateur).

Halifax dug in and defended their box very deep, to see the scores level at half time. It was more of the same in the second 45 minutes, but the Eagles were well-organised and not giving up many opportunities, as they battled for a point. United almost found a breakthrough in the dying seconds when a loose ball slipped past the formidable Becky Flaherty, but skipper Shauna Legge was on hand to swipe it away off the line and preserve a 0–0 draw.

The Eagles were filled with confidence for their mid-week game against third-place Nottingham Forest, which was switched to Langwith Road (Shirebrook Town).

Forest had an early chance, then hit a stunning strike that chipped the keeper, and Halifax were behind with less than 10 minutes played. Five minutes after the break, the Eagles had a goal disallowed. However, with 15 minutes to go, Halifax were awarded a penalty that Ellen White put away. And with less than five minutes to go, Meg Boydell scored a screamer that the keeper got her fingertips to but failed to keep out. Halifax almost got a third goal in time-added-on, however it was a good 2–1 win. 

Leeds United were at Lambeth Grove for their FAWNL Division One North game against Stockport County, with both teams chasing a top-five finish.

A goal-mouth scramble led to Ellie Dobson popping up at the far post to open up the scoring, but after a penalty and a low effort both beat Carrie Simpson, Stockport had a 2–1 advantage at half time.  Leeds twice fought back from a goal down, with second-half goals from Jess Rousseau and substitute Katie Astle, to draw 3–3 and earn a well-deserved point.